The first lens I procured for my Leica M3 body was a 1958 Summicron 50mm f/2 Dual Range (DR). The Dual Range is unique among Leica 50mm Summicrons because it allows for close range focusing down to 0.478m as opposed newer models which focus down to no less than 0.7m. To achieve the close-up range, the DR is paired with detachable optics that not only optimize the magnification of the finder for close range, but also correct the angle of view and so adjust for parallax.
Infrared photography has long been a subject of fascination for me. Last year, I wrote about my experience shooting and developing Rollei Infrared 400 film, and concluded that while interesting, infrared film is too much of a hassle for me to pursue infrared film photography routinely. Since then, I have not bothered buying any more rolls of infrared film. Digital infrared is another story, however.
I am honored to be a guest blogger on 35mmc – a blog/webpage that I have been reading for quite some time. When I got the question if I could make a post, I thought of what I should write about. 5 pictures is the theme – but what five pictures? Then it struck me, I have had five Leicas. What about if I post one picture of each camera, and write something about what a Leica camera means to me.
Tokyo is notorious for its morning commute rush with most Tokyoites enduring packed trains for an hour or more—which is precisely why I try to avoid peak hours as much as possible. Fortunately in my work, I am master of my own schedule so most of the time I can avoid the rush. Sometimes however I just have to be somewhere and so I join the throngs of salaried Tokyo office workers and carefree students.
About two years back I was perusing Leica lens offerings on eBay and came across this gem, a first generation Leica Summilux 35mm f/1.4. It was the black chrome version and appeared in excellent condition with just the right amount of brassing on its made-for-the-M3 optics. The seller was the owner a small used shop in a city in Germany I had never heard of, which I believe he runs together with his wife. The listing was all in German, which I can read just well enough to understand this lens was a great buy. And so I bought it.